Common Mormon Butterfly Papilio polytes

Common Mormon Butterfly male tailed
Common Mormon Butterfly male tailless
The Common Mormon Butterfly is native to South and Southeast Asia and Australasia. One of the swallowtail family, it has a wingspan of up to 100mm. The male (above left) is mainly black with some sandy scales and with white spots on the trailing edge of the forewing, a row of white spots forming a band across the hind wing and is usually tailed. The male above right has no tail and no evidence of tails having been broken.
Common Mormon Butterfly male side
Common Mormon Butterfly newly emerged
The side view shows the male's white band more clearly, plus the red crescent, sometimes with blue, below the band. Above right is newly-emerged from its pupa and shows a small tail.
Common Mormon Butterfly female
Common Mormon Butterfly female brown
The female Common Mormon Butterfly looks different to the male and has several different forms, some of which mimic distasteful swallowtails such as the Common and Crimson Rose. Above right is the standard form, called stichius, which mimics the Common Rose Swallowtail. Above left is thought to be an unusual brown version but may be a DIFFERENT SPECIES.
Common Mormon Butterfly male
Common Mormon Butterfly
Common Mormon Butterfly
More male Common Mormons above. The name "mormon" was given to the butterfly since the male was observed to have multiple female partners.
Common Mormon Butterfly
Common Mormon Butterfly
Common Mormon Butterfly female underside
More female Common Mormons, the regular "stichius" form with white-shaded black forewings and red and white patches and red crescents on the hind wing. Top, side and underside. The black body with white lines and spots is also visible here and on the males further above.
Common Mormon Butterfly
Common Mormon Butterfly
Common Mormon Butterfly
Above left and centre (background, frayed one) shows that the black tends to wear off the body, leaving yellow. Above right doesn't have the distinct white-lined area on the forewings.
Common Mormon Butterfly
Common Mormon Butterfly
The Common Mormons coupled, above left, are not two males. The top one, also shown above centre, is a rare form of the female, called "cyrus," which mimics the male form plus some small, additional, red crescents on the hind wings.
Common Mormon Butterfly
The Mormon above appears to have male forewings and female hind wings. Not a gynandromorph but a female form.